Friday, Oct 31, 2014

Saharanpur violence: Curfew relaxed for four hours as uneasy calm prevails

A view of a street during curfew in Saharanpur a day after violent clashes between two communities over a land dispute on Sunday. (Source: PTI) A view of a street during curfew in Saharanpur a day after violent clashes between two communities over a land dispute on Sunday. (Source: PTI)
Press Trust of India | Saharanpur | Posted: July 28, 2014 11:21 am

With the situation improving in violence-hit Saharanpur, the district authorities on Monday relaxed curfew for four hours in the new city area to allow people to buy their daily need items from markets which were directed to remain open.

As the situation has shown improvement, curfew was being relaxed from 10 AM to 2 PM in the new city and from 3 PM to 7 PM in the old town areas, District Magistrate Sandhya Tiwari said

“This is being done to allow people to pick up their items of daily need from the markets,” she told reporters here.

Tiwari said security forces have been asked to maintain a tight vigil during the curfew relaxation hours and keep a close watch on trouble-mongers to prevent any untoward incident.

She said a lot of people contacted the authorities last night as certain rumours had been spread but “more than 96 per cent of the incidents were not found to be true”.

An uneasy calm had prevailed on Sunday in Saharanpur where 38 people were arrested as a political blame game erupted with BJP accusing Samajwadi Party of indulging in “vote-bank politics” and Congress blasting the UP government for “lapses”.

Curfew and shoot-at-sight orders had remained in force on Sunday in the wake of clashes between two communities over a land dispute with some indulging in arson. Three persons were killed in the violence on Saturday that also left 33 injured.

22 shops were gutted or damaged and 15 four-wheelers torched in the incidents, according to Tiwari.

Meanwhile, Saharanpur Superintendent of Police Rajesh Pandey said one person who had “instigated” the violence has been identified.

“We have not arrested him yet, but we are hopeful that we will catch hold of him very soon,” he said, noting that the individual has been charged with rioting, arson and conspiracy.

He said, “We will undertake a detailed investigation and only then we can say whether it is a grand design or some thing else is behind the scene.”

“We are trying to get the situation back to complete normalcy,” Pandey said, adding the violence took place over the disputed piece of land which was a “cause of concern”.

Uttar Pradesh Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Mukul Goel had yesterday said in Lucknow, “It has been directed that action should be taken against whosoever is found guilty.”

Officials in Lucknow said Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has sought a report from the district authorities regarding the incidents in Saharanpur, which is nearly continued…

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